Tropical Storm Cindy (2017)

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Tropical Storm Cindy
Tropical storm (SSHWS/NWS)
Cindy 2017-06-21 1645Z.jpg
Tropical Storm Cindy shortly after peak intensity off the Louisiana coast on June 21
Formed June 20, 2017
Dissipated June 24, 2017
(Post-tropical after June 23)
Highest winds 1-minute sustained: 60 mph (95 km/h)
Lowest pressure 992 mbar (hPa); 29.29 inHg
Fatalities 2 direct; 1 indirect
Damage Unknown
Areas affected Central America, Yucatán Peninsula, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Southern United States, Eastern United States
Part of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season

Tropical Storm Cindy was the first tropical cyclone to make landfall in Louisiana since Hurricane Isaac in 2012. The third named storm of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, Cindy formed out of a broad area of low pressure that developed in the northwestern Caribbean Sea near the Yucatán Peninsula in mid-June 2017. The disturbance gradually organized as it drifted northwards into the Gulf of Mexico, and was first designated as a potential tropical cyclone by the National Hurricane Center on June 19, organizing into a tropical storm the next day. While slowly moving to the northwest, Cindy's intensification was slow due to the effects of dry air and moderate to strong wind shear. It later made landfall in southwestern Louisiana on June 22, quickly weakening afterwards and became post-tropical by late the next day, dissipating shortly afterwards.

Cindy was responsible for at least two deaths along the Gulf Coast and another indirect fatality in Tennessee. The storm was also responsible for spawning tornadoes, one of which was rated an EF2, as well as dumping heavy rainfall up to 12 inches (300 mm) in southeastern Louisiana, leading to flash flooding.

Meteorological history

Map plotting the track and intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir–Simpson scale

As early as June 13, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) anticipated that a broad low pressure area would develop in the northwestern Caribbean Sea, which had the potential for tropical cyclogenesis.[1] A large area of disturbed weather formed in this vicinity on June 16, associated with a surface trough, and developed a broad low by the next day.[2][3][4] The system moved north-northwestward over the eastern Yucatán peninsula on June 18, accompanied by gale-force winds in its eastern periphery, but no well-defined circulation.[5][6] On the next day, the low moved into the Gulf of Mexico with a large area of disorganized convection, or thunderstorms.[7] At 21:00 UTC on June 19, the NHC began issuing advisories on Potential Tropical Cyclone Three, due to the system's threat along the United States Gulf coast. At the time, the system had multiple circulations and no distinct center.[8] Early on June 20, the Hurricane Hunters observed that multiple centers converged into a single circulation about 325 mi (525 km) south of Louisiana. The system moved to the north-northwest around a large ridge over the southeastern United States.[9] At 18:00 UTC on June 20, the NHC classified the system as Tropical Storm Cindy, based on the increased organization of the center.[10]

The nascent Tropical Storm Cindy had its strongest winds northeast and northwest of the center in the primary area of convection. The thunderstorms were well north of the circulation due to strong wind shear and dry mid-level air. Early on June 21, despite a ragged satellite appearance, observations from the Hurricane Hunters and ships indicated that the storm intensified to reach winds of 60 mph (95 km/h),[11][12] and the storm began slowly moving to the northwest later that night. The appearance of Cindy early on June 21 was described as "does not look like a tropical cyclone" and more resembling a subtropical cyclone, with a large circulation and most of the convection displaced to the east.[13][14] The pressure bottomed out around 992 millibars (29.3 inHg) later that day, despite its atypical appearance on satellite; the only thing maintaining it at tropical characteristics was a burst of convection that occurred near the center which wrapped into the southwestern quadrant of the storm.[15] Cindy later made landfall in southwestern Louisiana near the city of Cameron and Port Arthur, Texas around 07:00–08:00 UTC on June 22 with winds of 45 mph (75 km/h),[16] making Cindy the first storm to strike the state since Hurricane Isaac in 2012. Rapid weakening ensued once it moved inland, and it weakened to a depression shortly afterwards. At 21:00 UTC, the NHC issued their last advisory on Cindy and announced that further advisories would be issued by the Weather Prediction Center (WPC).[17] Cindy continued to lose its tropical characteristics as it weakened gradually inland, and became post-tropical by 21:00 UTC on June 23.[18] The WPC continued monitoring Cindy until the next day, when the storm dissipated near the New England coast.[19]

Preparations and impact

Northwestern Caribbean

In its formative stages, the precursor system dropped heavy rainfall across the Yucatán Peninsula, Central America, the Cayman Islands, western Cuba, and Florida.[7] On June 16, Jamaica's Meteorological Service issued a nationwide flash flood watch for low-lying and flood prone areas.[20]

United States

Tropical Depression Cindy weakening over Arkansas on June 22

Along the northern Gulf Coast, the NHC issued tropical storm warnings as far west as San Luis Pass in Texas, and as far east as the Alabama/Florida border.[21] A state of emergency was declared for Biloxi, Mississippi, in anticipation of flooding.

Because Cindy was just a weak tropical storm upon making landfall in southwestern Louisiana, the highest sustained wind speed observed was 40 mph (64 km/h) at the Lake Charles Regional Airport; a peak wind gust of 52 mph (84 km/h) was recorded at the same location. Consequently, wind impacts overall were minor. One home in Lake Charles suffered extensive damage after a tree fell on it,[22] while a hollowed out tree landed on a mobile home in Terrebonne Parish, injuring two children.[23] Rainfall was heavy in some areas, peaking at 7.82 in (199 mm) in St. Martinville. In Cameron Parish, low-lying areas were generally inundated with about 1 to 3 ft (0.30 to 0.91 m) of water, including portions of Highway 27 near Hackberry and Highway 82 near Grand Chenier and between Oak Grove and the Mermentau River. A number of roads were flooded in Calcasieu Parish, particularly in the vicinity of Lake Charles. Along the coast, storm surge peaked at 4.1 ft (1.2 m) and tides reached 6.38 ft (1.94 m) above normal; both observations occurred at the Freshwater Canal in Vermilion Parish. Nearby, the communities of Delcambre, Freshwater City, and Intracoastal City were flooded with 1 to 3 ft (0.30 to 0.91 m) of water. In Iberia Parish, coastal flooding caused several roads to be closed – including Highway 83 near Lydia – and damaged some equipment at the Port of Iberia. Although well inland, portions of Calcasieu Parish, especially Lake Charles, Sulphur, and Westlake, experienced tidal flooding due to wind-driven storm surge traveling up the Calcasieu River.[22]

A ten-year-old boy died in Fort Morgan, Alabama, after being struck in the chest by a log carried in a large wave.[24] A second fatality took place in Bolivar Peninsula, Texas.[25] Near Leakesville, Mississippi, heavy rainfall caused the Chickasawhay River to rise nearly 9 ft (3 m) past flood stage and overflow its banks, collapsing an abandoned bridge.[26] In coastal Hancock County, Mississippi, over 300 streets were flooded. A shrimp trawler taking on water was rescued by the Coast Guard about 80 mi (130 km) offshore Galveston, Texas.[27] Numerous streets were flooded across Alabama, and statewide power outages topped out near 4,300. Flash flooding increased bacteria levels in rivers and streams, with E. coli detected in the Coosa River. Multiple trees were downed in Walker County.[28] The Tennessee Valley Authority lowered water levels in nine lakes across the state to limit the chances of flash flooding. Dozens of crashes were reported around Memphis, Tennessee from the strong winds and heavy rainfall; a driver was killed after going off the road and slamming into a pole. Over a half dozen fires may have been caused by Cindy. At the height of the storm, at least 10,000 residents in the city were left without power. Arkansas State Highway 44 and State Highway 1 were forced to shut down.[27] In South Bend, Indiana, strong winds peeled off part of the roof to a high school, damaging ten classrooms. Nearby low-lying roads were flooded, and emergency crews rescued people from stranded vehicles.[29]

See also

References

  1. ^ John Cangialosi (June 13, 2017). Tropical Weather Outlook (TXT) (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved June 19, 2017. 
  2. ^ Jack Beven (June 16, 2017). Tropical Weather Outlook (TXT) (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved June 19, 2017. 
  3. ^ Stacy Stewart (June 17, 2017). Tropical Weather Outlook (TXT) (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved June 19, 2017. 
  4. ^ Jack Beven (June 17, 2017). Tropical Weather Outlook (TXT) (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved June 19, 2017. 
  5. ^ Jack Beven (June 18, 2017). Tropical Weather Outlook (TXT) (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved June 19, 2017. 
  6. ^ John Cangialosi; Stacy Stewart (June 18, 2017). Tropical Weather Outlook (TXT) (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved June 19, 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Michael Brennan (June 19, 2017). Tropical Weather Outlook (TXT) (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved June 19, 2017. 
  8. ^ Michael Brennan (June 19, 2017). Potential Tropical Cyclone Three Discussion Number 1 (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved June 19, 2017. 
  9. ^ Stacy Stewart (June 20, 2017). Potential Tropical Cyclone Three Discussion Number 2 (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
  10. ^ Michael Brennan (June 20, 2017). Potential Tropical Cyclone Three Advisory Number 4A (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
  11. ^ Michael Brennan (June 20, 2017). Tropical Storm Cindy Discussion Number 4 (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
  12. ^ Stacy Stewart (June 21, 2017). Tropical Storm Cindy Discussion Number 5 (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved June 21, 2017. 
  13. ^ Richard Pasch (June 21, 2017). Tropical Storm Cindy Discussion Number 7 (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved June 21, 2017. 
  14. ^ Jack Beven (June 21, 2017). Tropical Storm Cindy Discussion Number 8 (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved June 21, 2017. 
  15. ^ Stacy Stewart (June 21, 2017). Tropical Storm Cindy Discussion Number 10 (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved June 21, 2017. 
  16. ^ Richard Pasch (June 22, 2017). Tropical Storm Cindy Discussion Number 11 (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved June 22, 2017. 
  17. ^ Lixion Avila (June 22, 2017). Tropical Depression Cindy Advisory Number 12 (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved June 22, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Post-tropical Cyclone CINDY Advisory Number 17". Weather Prediction Center. June 23, 2017. 
  19. ^ Allison Santorelli (24 June 2017). "Remnants of CINDY Advisory Number 20". Weather Prediction Center. 
  20. ^ "Flash Flood Watch in Effect for all Parishes". Jamaica Information Service. June 17, 2017. Archived from the original on June 18, 2017. Retrieved June 19, 2017. 
  21. ^ Stacy Stewart (June 21, 2017). Tropical Storm Cindy Advisory Number 6 (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved June 21, 2017. 
  22. ^ a b Megnia, Landreneau, Mogged, Erickson, and Brazzell (June 27, 2017). Post Tropical Cyclone Report...Tropical Storm Cindy (Report). National Weather Service Lake Charles, Louisiana. Archived from the original on June 30, 2017. Retrieved June 30, 2017. 
  23. ^ Manning and Revitte (June 26, 2017). Post Tropical Cyclone Report...Tropical Storm Cindy (Report). National Weather Service New Orleans. Archived from the original on June 30, 2017. Retrieved June 30, 2017. 
  24. ^ Eryn Taylor (June 21, 2017). "Tropical Storm Cindy blamed in 10-year-old's death". Fort Morgan, Alabama: WREG. Retrieved June 21, 2017. 
  25. ^ Wilborn P. Nobles III (June 22, 2017). "Death of man on Texas beach attributed to Tropical Storm Cindy: report". NOLA. Retrieved June 22, 2017. 
  26. ^ Jay Reeves (June 26, 2017). "Tropical Storm Cindy Drenches Southeast". Insurance Journal. Retrieved June 29, 2017. 
  27. ^ a b Eryn Taylor (June 23, 2017). "Cindy leaves a trail of damage behind". WREG News. Retrieved June 29, 2017. 
  28. ^ "Flooding, power outages and other fallout across Alabama from Tropical Storm Cindy". AL.com. June 24, 2017. Retrieved June 29, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Cindy's Remnants: Street Flooding From South to the Midwest". U.S. News. June 23, 2017. Retrieved June 29, 2017. 

External links

  • Tropical Storm Cindy Advisory Archive
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